In 2019, photographer Tobias Baumgaertner snapped a romantic shot of two widowed penguins overlooking a pier in Melbourne, Australia. He shared the photograph on his Instagram during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to help lift people’s spirits and it quickly went viral, garnering thousands of likes, comments, and shares. So, it’s only fitting that Baumgaertner’s photo, which was nominated for the Community Choice Award in the 2020 Ocean Photography Awards, won the title by popular vote.
“I posted this image of these two Fairy penguins a little more than half a year ago and since then it has circled the globe, it has been seen by millions, and I have received thousands of messages and comments of how these two little guys have touched and mended broken hearts, brought joy, hope and love into your lives,” Baumgaertner said on his Instagram. “It has become a symbol of togetherness and love. Times are still not easy for many of us, [so] I repeat what I wrote back then. During times like this, the truly lucky ones are those that can be with the person/people they love most.”[…]